Malaysians can finally travel interstate following the lifting of restrictions as announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sunday. The freedom to travel interstate is only given to individuals who have been fully vaccinated and all public transport providers including airlines, bus and ferry operators are required to ensure all passengers are fully vaccinated.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has reminded all operators to adhere to the SOP set by the government under the National Recovery Plan. Besides checking for passenger’s vaccination status, they must also comply with other SOP compliance such as wearing a face mask, frequent hand washing or using hand sanitiser.
All travellers embarking on interstate journeys are also encouraged to take COVID-19 self-screening to protect themselves, their families and those around them. As mentioned by the Prime Minister, individuals who are unwell or are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or flu, are urged to defer their travel plans.
Dr Wee also said enforcement agencies such as the Road Transport Department (JPJ) can conduct random inspections on buses to ensure all passengers comply with the conditions set. He added that public transport service companies that have failed or are found to be negligent in ensuring their passengers are fully vaccinated for interstate travel could be charged.
The minister told reporters, “Inspection (of the vaccination certificate) also does not incur any additional cost for the transport company operators, instead it increases the confidence of passengers to travel long distances by public transport.”
Before interstate travel restrictions were lifted, AirAsia announced last week that only fully-vaccinated guests will be accepted on all AirAsia (AK) flights. According to their CEO Riad Asmat, the decision was made in the best safety interest of their guests and employees.
Definition of fully vaccinated
To recap, a person with a two-dose vaccine is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose. Meanwhile, individuals with a single-shot vaccine are counted as fully vaccinated 28 days after getting the injection.
Exemptions for non-vaccinated individuals
There are a couple of exemptions for individuals that are not fully vaccinated. Children below 18 years old who are not fully vaccinated are allowed to travel provided that their accompanying guardian or parents are fully vaccinated.
For individuals who can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 due to health reasons, they are allowed to board their transport if they present a vaccine exemption document issued from an accredited medical practitioner. If you fall into this category, you are able to apply for a digital vaccine exemption certificate for MySejahtera.
In case you missed it, MySejahtera has a new feature that allows users to export or print their digital vaccine certificate. The feature is useful for travellers who are required to submit proof of vaccination. To prevent fraud, the PDF certificate contains QR codes that can be verified with a smartphone app.
As of 11th October, 65.6% of the total population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In terms of the adult population, 90.4% of adults have been fully vaccinated nationwide. Malaysia aims to fully vaccinate 3 million teens by the end of this year and 73.4% of them have already received at least one dose.